The holiday-shopping season in full steam, and album sales were up about 28% this week; Ciara’s Evolution benefited, selling 338,000 copies and debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. The debut marks Ciara’s first-ever No. 1 record, and her sales tally nearly tripled that of her debut album’s first week on the charts.
Biggest Debuts: Eminem’s compilation album The Re-Up debuted at No. 2, selling 309,000 copies and ensuring that the ever-beleaguered rapper would at least have something to complain about on his next record; Gwen Stefani’s collection of odes to the Gwen Stefani brand, The Sweet Escape, came in at No. 3, selling 243,000 copies.
Biggest Slides: Maybe Lefsetz was right; Jay-Z’s Kingdom Come was the only album in the top 25 to experience a sales decrease this week, dropping from No. 6 to No. 15 after a 27% sales dip. It wasn’t the most embarrassing decline, though: That honor would go to last week’s No. 1, Incubus, whose Light Grenades tumbled all the way to No. 37, setting a record for a post-top-spot drop in the process.
Nickelback Award For Inexplicable Durability: We could give this award to Chris Daughtry, whose Daughtry hung tough and sold about the same amount it did last week, but if we want to get really inexplicable, there’s always the saccharine-sweet pop-opera group Il Divo, whose Siempre benefited from an Oprah appearance with a whopping 128% sales gain. We know, we know, they’re a Simon Cowell-engineered juggernaut, but come on: have you heard their overwrought Italian-language cover of “Without You”? It makes us pine for the subtle vocal stylings of Clay Aiken.